WIT Press

The nature of spontaneity-driven processes

Price

Free (open access)

Paper DOI

10.2495/ECO-V2-N4-231-244

Volume

Volume 2 (2007), Issue 4

Pages

13

Page Range

231 - 244

Author(s)

L.-S. Wang

Abstract

There is a preferred direction for spontaneous changes in nature leading to decay and destruction, in accordance with the entropy law. Notwithstanding this assertion, the law does not prohibit changes opposite to spontaneity, only that such change cannot happen by itself. In this paper, I show that the second law points out the possibilities of constructive changes against spontaneity, as well as sets the limit to those possibilities. The actualization of those changes necessitates the concepts of useful work and reversible-like processes. Although all macroscopic processes in nature are spontaneity-driven, machines and machine operation can only be comprehended – not as spontaneous processes, but – as reversible-like processes, which are designed to be spontaneity-driven. Machines (and life) are the outcomes of constructive forces in nature, which derive their efficacy from the destruction of spontaneity; destruction and construction are two faces of the entropy law.

Keywords

causality, causation and design, destruction and construction, reversibility, reversible-like processes, spontaneity, spontaneous processes, the entropy law, useful work